With all due respect, Mr. President, this ain’t 1964

Unlike some folks, I wasn’t counting on President Barack Obama to fix the entire world. I didn’t expect him to fix a crumbling economy, cure sucky inner-city school systems, find Waldo and curb my addiction to Starbucks. So, I believe my opinion will hold a little more weight than others, right now.

This weekend, Mr. Obama spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus. Not only was he rallying for votes, he was – apparently – giving the representatives of the downtrodden a pep talk.  He basically told the room to ‘stop bitchin.’  

 “Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

First of all, why are you quoting Mariah Carey? Second, why are you droppin’ all the g’s off your words and third, what?!

 The jobless rate for Blacks is 16.7%. The national average is just over 9%. A disproportionate number of people affected by unemployment doesn’t sound like a complaint to me.

Some in the Caucus and other well-known Black leaders have said Mr. Obama hasn’t addressed issues plaguing the Black community, joblessness being one of those things. So, when he finally addresses it – he tells folks to stop complaining? Ummmm… **I’m literally making this face —> o_O <— as I type, ** what!?

Mr. President, c’mon! If you can address Palestinian statehood to the U.N. and its continuous gripe with Israel, you can surely address the economic impact this non-recession is having on the Black community right now.

According to the Associated Press, the President went on to tell the Caucus that ‘blacks know all too well from the civil rights struggle that the fight for what is right is never easy.’

With all due respect, Mr. President, this ain’t 1964!

Yea, the struggle helped us get where we are, but how long do we have to endure it? And are we supposed to just accept this is the way it is forever going to be?

Not long ago, I saw a story on a local Detroit TV news station. A woman working for the Detroit Public School System was at a meeting where she’d been told she’d likely have to take a major pay cut or be out of a job. She was already making pauper wages, something like $20,000 a year. She told the reporter who was interviewing her that she wanted to work. Back in the 90’s, she’d been on welfare and didn’t want to go back. She said she’d showed her kids before she could get out of the system with hard work and was determined to keep it that way.

Side note: Even if she didn’t mind the welfare system, it certainly would mind her. Michigan legislatures are changing laws. You can no longer be on welfare for more than 4 continuous years in a lifetime and soon, if you own property or have more than $5,000 in the bank you won’t be eligible for food stamps.

This woman, I believe is like many. She doesn’t want a shortcut – but a legitimate way out of economic despair. And wanting someone, a leader, THE PRESIDENT, to address her concerns aka complaints – isn’t a ridiculous concept to me.

I’ve stayed mostly mum about the President and his moderate way of governing, but something’s got to give.

If folks are too busy looking for jobs and “pressing on” in November 2012 and don’t go to the polls, I hope he doesn’t complain.

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One Response to With all due respect, Mr. President, this ain’t 1964

  1. Q says:

    This is a great post. Although I think some black people have way too high expectations of Obama, I will agree with most that he’s basically done very little to address problems in the black community. I recognize that he’s the Prez of the U.S. and not the Prez of Black People. I know he’s responsible for everyone in our country and I get that. But, like you said, he will get involved in foreign affairs before he handles home and I get upset that all presidents tend to do that. Obama is a politician. He does what gets him votes, so because of that, I don’t really have high expectations of him at all. It’s great that we have a black president, but given the fact that he’s extended all of Bush’s policies make me question even his loyalty to the Democrats. Sorry, I’m going on a rant here. Nice post. Try not to keep us waiting another four months for one. 🙂

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